I've been on the hunt for an all-natural and zero waste foundation for about a year now and thought I would share with you what I've found so far. "Zero waste" is a term coined in the 1970s and recently propelled by Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home, that describes a product or lifestyle that doesn't send any harmful trash into the environment; the packaging is reduced to the essentials and everything about it gets re-used, recycled or composted.
Research your area's policies
Buying zero waste products looks different to different people because the recycling and composting facilities vary across counties and countries. The best way to start shopping zero waste is to first reduce the amount of products you buy and then look up your area's recycling and composting policies. Shopping for zero waste cosmetics in Seattle, where I am right now, can be very difficult as our area will not recycle any lids less than three inches wide in diameter. This includes both plastic and metal lids on jars, the pumps on top of soap and lotion bottles and most of the lids found on bath and body products.
Why I Prefer Liquid Foundation
With this in mind, I have tried a couple mineral powder ones from Etsy shops that came in jars but found that the powdered foundations do not work well with my powdered beet blush (that I predict will last me another year) like liquid foundations do. Next, I tried the liquid foundation from Tarte that comes with a bamboo cap, but found that the cap is lined with plastic inside that isn't recyclable here.
Finally, I asked a like-minded group of zero waste ladies what they recommend and one (you can follow her on Instagram @stacy_strickland) suggested Origins. They are committed to making natural products using sustainable energy and recycled packaging. Additionally, you can take back all of their packaging as well as other brands' cosmetic packaging to any of their stores in North America and they will either recycle it or use it for energy recovery. Origins also works with Global Releaf to plant trees in America! So great! Personally, I would like to try their "Stay Tuned Balancing Face Makeup" in "Sand."
If you are not in North America or would like to try something else, I recommend reaching out to one of the many small, natural cosmetic companies on Etsy like OhSudz to see if they would send you product in a re-used container or one that can be recycled or composted in your area. After finding the right personal shade, buying the greatest amount you can buy in a single container will make the most out of all resources used.
I hope this helps and I'll let you know when I've tried any of these options personally! Also, let me know if you've had any experience with Origins or another zero waste foundation!